CMS 5 star

Country Life Care achieves a perfect 5 Star Rating


We are proud to announce that the Country Life team has achieved a perfect 5 Star rating in every component of the CMS Nursing Home Comparison rating system. There are only three providers in the Salt Lake area that have a perfect CMS 5 star rating in every category (Country Life, Highland Care Center, and Aspen Ridge West).

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) created the Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System for patients, families, employees, and others to easily compare characteristics of skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation providers.  The publicly available CMS Nursing Home Compare web site enables head to head comparisons of the providers in a selected geographical area.  The Nursing Home Compare rating system assigns an overall rating of between one and five stars.  Five star providers are considered to have quality outcomes that are much above average.   Nursing homes with one star rating are considered to be preforming below average.  These ratings change with the addition of new information but also have a look-back period of three years to incorporate some historical context and consistency.  While no rating system is perfect the CMS Five Star Rating system has become the gold standard for nursing home comparisons.

We would like to thank everyone on our team who has helped us make this 5 Star Rating possible.

Courtyard 2

Dynamic Therapy Courtyard – How improvements in the physical plant can contribute to a culture of recovery

This summary is not related to Country Life


A few years ago I was asked to assist at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The team had recently suffered a disastrous survey and had a high leadership turnover rate.  Part of my focus was to implement a Dynamic Therapy Courtyard.


The Idea

I had been toying around with the idea of creating an outdoor therapy space for some time. I envisioned an outdoor area that created some of the obstacles people face on a daily basis. A perfectly flat therapy gym floor is not the surface people usually fall on. I wanted to add a mailbox, disc golf goal, and other activities that could be used to supplement existing therapy activities.


The Execution

The Vice President I worked for gave me permission to use time at work and a few hundred dollars to create the “Dynamic Therapy Courtyard”. The space I selected had a 40 foot tree in the center that provided nice shade from the summer heat. The initial challenge I faced was concrete that had lifted as the tree grew. I rented an 80lb jackhammer and was able to break up the area in a few hours. Over the next few days I had a lot of help after work loading several truckloads of broken concrete to haul away. When the project was finished I learned that a construction firm had quoted $20,000 to break up and remove the concrete with a crane. We retained enough pieces of broken concrete to create an uneven flagstone walking path. We cleaned up the walking path with some fresh sod and sprinklers. The facility maintenance director Randy replaced the benches with new redwood planks. I washed off 30 years of blue paint with a power washer and several therapist helped me update the space with fresh paint. We then hauled in some bark chips to provide another surface to practice walking on. Various staff added nice touches like bird feeders and artwork.


Facility Results

Creating the Dynamic Therapy Courtyard provided a quiet shaded area for residents to enjoy time outdoors.  It also removed an eye sore that had become a safety concern. The courtyard demonstrated the organization’s commitment to providing facility level support and continuous improvement. Getting people to buy into change is much easier when there are tangible signs of progress like the Dynamic Therapy Courtyard. This fresh mindset contributed to improved therapy referrals and the financial gains associated with providing appropriate therapy services.  There were a number of other factors that contributed to the quality of care and financial gains this facility experienced.  However, even if the courtyard played a small role in the turnaround it provided an exceptional return on investment.

Courtyard 2 Courtyard



On Site Dental services


Often times preventative dental care can be the ounce of prevention that prevents the need for a pound of cure.  Conditions including gum disease, diabetes and dry mouth are just some of the conditions that can be addressed with routine dental visits.  We would like to thank Dr. Marberger and his team at Onsite Dental for providing dental screenings and care for the residents of Country Life Care Center.